Monday, September 9, 2013

Don James McLaughlin Wins UPenn Teaching Award

This year, Villanova Master's alumnus Don James McLaughlin ('09) won The Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is pursuing doctoral studies in English.

Friday, February 15, 2013

English Grad Alum Lands New Library Internship


Don't be surprised if you see a new face in the library this semester. Alexander (Alex) Williams, a Drexel University iSchool graduate student, is serving a six-month internship with Falvey's Academic Integration and Information and Research Assistance teams. Alex is an alum of our Graduate English Program, earning his degree with us in 2011. Now, he is focusing on information services although he is also interested in competitive intelligence. He expects to graduate from Drexel in 2013.

Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature and religious studies from Stonehill College, Easton, Mass. While a student at Stonehill, Alex worked as a circulation aide in the library, an early indication of his future interests.

Click here to read more of Alex's story.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Katie Hynes

Katie has been enjoying her position as a professional tutor at Bergen Community College. Having been a Villanova Writing Center tutor, she has noticed several different challenges at Bergen's writing center than at Villanova's, but the work has been rewarding and enjoyable in its own way.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Message from the Great Beyond (i.e. the PhD): It Gets Better

Hello, my name is Mary Beth Harris, I graduated from the Villanova Masters Program in English Literature in 2011, I am currently pursuing my PhD at Purdue University, and I am a bad listener. As an M.A. student with PhD aspirations, I received a lot of good, thoughtful advice during my time at Villanova. Some of this was hard to hear because it felt like everyone was telling me what a bad idea getting a PhD was. I heard how difficult and competitive doctoral work is, how the job market is an evil no-man’s land designed by the devil himself to crush all hopes and dreams, how tenure is going the way of the dinosaurs, and how even if you are one of the lucky few to get a job that job will only continue to grind your soul into dust. Let me be clear, I am not dismissing the earnestness of this advice, nor the caring spirit in which it was offered. Moving on in graduate school is a risk, and if you want to take it seriously you need to be fully aware of these risks. More importantly, once I was committed to applying, the Villanova faculty made it part of their mission to help me get in. Graduate school is hard, choosing scholarship as a career path is a risk, BUT I am here to tell you that it can get better and that I am happy with my stubborn decision to let some of that good advice go in one ear and out of the other.

I am currently a second year PhD student at Purdue University, finishing up my course work. I love being a PhD student. I feel excited and energized by my work, and I am finally making that transition from thinking of myself as a professional student to thinking of myself as a developing scholar. I would be lying if I told you doctoral work was all sunshine, roses, and frolicking through libraries in a warm haze, but I have found a kind of satisfaction and even joy in the unique work I do as a graduate student.

Part of finding a positive experience in a PhD program is about finding a program that is a good fit for you. I feel supported and engaged at Purdue. However, feeling good about your PhD work is also about being scholastically prepared for work at that level, which is something Villanova gave me. The course work at Villanova is very similar to my work here at Purdue, and my Masters work helped me make that (often awkward) transition from being an undergraduate to a graduate student (I think of it as going through academic puberty). Furthermore, if there was one thing that pushed me into turning that corner, that really prepared me to move forward with my academic work, it was writing the thesis. The thesis option at Villanova is a luxury (a seemingly frightening one, but a luxury none the less). Very rarely, no matter what you end up doing after your M.A., will you ever have the opportunity to just focus on your work, your ideas, for a whole semester. The thesis is daunting, and it is possible to get a bit lost in the process. I certainly got lost in the early stages of mine, but this process was an important one for me and my writing. Working on a sustained research project, having to articulate it in a proposal, having to research widely in your field, and having to draft and redraft longer pieces of writing, are all skills you need to have to continue on in this field. The thesis project is a way to figure out and develop these skills. I am a different writer, thinker, researcher, and all-around scholar because I wrote the thesis, and I am glad for it. I wouldn’t feel as confident or successful in my PhD program if I hadn’t taken it on.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Aiden James Kosciesza

Aiden James Kosciesza is now Coordinator of Program Assessment and Evaluation at Harcum College

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Grievers

Check out Marc Schuster's new novel, The Grievers. Schuster's second novel is a darkly comic coming of age story, in which a Charley Schwartz tries to help his alma mater plan a memorial service for a deceased high school buddy who committed suicide. Amid various problems that arise from the school, his friends, and the planning process, Schwartz attempts to set his world right and keep everything from unraveling.  The Grievers is available now on your Nook and Kindle and will be in print this May from The Permanent Press.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rebecca Buckham

Rebecca Buckham recently sent us this update:

After completing the requirements for my M.A. in English at Villanova, I began a doctoral program at The Johns Hopkins University, where I am now a second-year student. I know that my application was competitive due in large part to the rigorous coursework and dedicated faculty support at Villanova. The program provided a solid stepping-stone to the work I'm doing at Hopkins, much of which is heavily theoretical. My classes at Villanova integrated a lot of theory into the close-reading of primary literature, which helped me begin to make the transition to literary study that straddles (and hopefully bridges) the worlds of literature and theory.

Other opportunities at Villanova pointed me toward further graduate study. I was fortunate to be awarded a Graduate Student Summer Fellowship, which allowed me to travel to London to present a paper at the Ninth International Milton Symposium in 2008. This looked great on my applications, and was of course a wonderful scholarly experience.

I continue my interest in early modern studies at Hopkins, where I hope to further integrate my commitment to ecological issues into my scholarship. Last semester (Fall 2009) I participated in a ten-week course at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., which introduced me to the incredible collection of primary material housed at the Folger, as well as taught me much about book history and digital resources for research in the field. I did some research on Robert Hooke's _Micrographia_: turning the pages of this seventeenth-century book and unfolding its groundbreaking illustrations was unforgettable.

As I move into the second year of the program at Hopkins, I am most excited to begin teaching as a T.A. for an undergraduate Shakespeare course. I lead a weekly discussion section with twelve students, and we are located a bell tower.  The ceiling is very high, the room is flooded with light, and there is a staircase that wraps around the inner walls on all sides and joins several "balconies." I told the students that we have some great staging if they're interested in performing any of the scenes we come across!